Death by Furniture

Your chair can make or break your health
Source: Pixabay

Obesity, heart disease, bowel cancer – they’re all linked with sedentary occupations. In other words, sitting on your butt for extended periods of time can make you sick.  If you slouch, for example, your testosterone is likely to drop 10 percent and your cortisol level will rise by 15 percent – which can in turn lead to rapid weight gain, bruising, muscle weakness, diabetes, and many other health problems. This holds true whether your derriere is parked in an office or an online casino in Ireland. What a lot of people don’t realise, though, is that you can make things better for yourself without getting up. You can splash out on expensive ergonomic furniture – or you can design an ergonomic work/play station by answering four simple questions.

What is my natural posture?

Move your chair away from the desk and find the most comfortable sitting position. Chances are it’s similar to the way you sit in a bank – leaning back with relaxed shoulders, feet on the floor in front of you, hands in your lap. It’s comfortable because it’s your natural posture. Your spine and your pelvis are lined up right so that your vertebrae are stacked properly – and you can breathe naturally. Don’t tuck in your tailbone! Your backside should be behind you. Now that you know what your natural posture is, you can put together an ergonomic work/play station to help you keep it.

Where should I put my keyboard and mouse?

Don’t let the wrong chair tie you up in knots
Source: Pixabay

Using your natural posture as a starting point, place your keyboard and mouse in such a way that your elbows are at your sides. To avoid strain, your arms should be at or below 90 degrees. The keyboard should be only 1-2 inches above your thighs – either lower your desk or use a pull-out keyboard tray. Tilt the keyboard down and away if you can so that your hands and arms follow the slope of your thighs. Keyboard and mouse should be on the level and shoulder distance apart.

How should I position my screen?

You’ll know if your screen is too far away because you’ll start craning your neck to see properly. To find the right distance, sit back and stretch out your arm until your middle fingertip touches the screen. To find the right height, close your eyes. If your eyes land on the address bar when you open them, you’re okay – otherwise adjust the height of your monitor accordingly. Finally, cut out reflective glare by tilting the monitor down a bit.

How should I adjust my chair?

The most ergonomic item in your furniture repertoire is your chair, so if you can afford it, buy one of the many professionally designed ergonomic chairs out there. One of the best chairs on the market is the Herman Miller Cosm range – you don’t adjust it, it adjusts itself to you. If $1,650.00 seems a little steep, though, these tips can help you find the right chair. To start with, the chair you choose should support your natural posture. To find the right length, there should be slight gap between the back of your knees and the chair edge. When you sit, your feet shouldn’t be dangling in the air but flat on the floor. If you’re taller or shorter than average, adjust the height of your desk or use a foot rest. If you start contorting your legs into exotic-looking positions, your chair is wrong for you!